Shri Yamunotri Dham is situated in the district of Uttarkashi in Uttarakhand, at an elevation of about 10,803 feet. It stands against the backdrop of the Bandarpoonch, a mountain massif of the Garhwal division of the Himalayas.
The Yamunotri Temple is hugged by majestic mountain peaks, as it is located in the western region of the Garhwal Himalayas. Yamunotri Dham is dedicated to Goddess Yamuna, and it is a part of the Char Dham, or Chota Char Dham in Uttarakhand, the other three being Gangotri, Kedarnath and Badrinath. It is the first to be visited in the Char Dham pilgrimage circuit, followed by Gangotri, Kedarnath and Badrinath.
River Yamuna, which is revered as a holy river by millions of Hindus and finds a mention in the Hindu scriptures, originates from here. Goddess Yamuna is worshipped inside the temple in the form of a black marble idol. Taking a dip in the sacred waters of the River Yamuna is believed to cleanse the sins of an individual and protect him from an early or painful death.
The River Yamuna originates from the Yamunotri Glacier, which is located almost 20,718 feet, just below the Kalindi Peak. From here, the river descends into a glacial lake called Saptarshi Kund, located about 7 kilometers from Yamunotri. From there, it descends southwards in a series of waterfalls. Because the River Yamuna emerges from the Kalindi Parbat, it is also known as Kalindi.
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History of Yamunotri Dham
A temple dedicated to Goddess Yamuna was built in the 18th century by the Gorkha general, Amar Singh Thapa, but was damaged, before being rebuilt during the 19th century. Another record has it that the temple was constructed by Naresh Sudarshan Shah, the King of Tehri, in 1839. Other than that, one does not come across any other detailed history of the Yamunotri Temple. However, there are several interesting legends associated with it, which underline its significance in Hinduism and its followers.
Goddess Yamuna is believed to be the daughter of the Sun God and the twin sister of Yama, who is the God of Death, in Hindu mythology. According to a famous legend, Lord Hanuman, after burning the entire region of Lanka, then ruled by Ravana, then doused his tail in the soothing waters of River Yamuna at the place today known as Bandarpoonch.
Another legend states that Yamunotri is the abode of the Sage Asit Muni. The sage would enjoy a bath in the rivers Yamuna and Ganga, but because of his old age, was prevented from travelling to Gangotri. To help him and in recognition of his immense devotion, a stream of the holy River Ganga began flowing beside River Yamuna.
Yamunotri Temple Opening & Closing Dates
The opening dates of the Yamunotri Temple are declared on the auspicious occasion of Akshaya Tritiya, while the closing dates of the Yamunotri Temple are announced on the occasion of Bhai Dooj, during the festival of Diwali.
The opening date of the Yamunotri Temple in 2024 is May 10.
Best Time to Visit for Yamunotri Yatra
The best time to take the Yamunotri Yatra is between April to May and September to October and early November. The monsoon season, which starts in mid-July and lasts till September, is marked by landslides and floods, but still, can be visited during this time of the year. During the winter season, which starts from October and continues till March, the Yamunotri Temple remains closed to devotees because of heavy snowfall and extreme weather conditions, making it inaccessible.
How to Reach Yamunotri Temple?
Yamunotri Temple can be reached by air, rail and road. Heli services are available for those who don’t want to take the almost 13 kilometers trek from the town of Hanuman Chatti, because of any reason. Ponies and palanquins are available for the elderly or those who cannot take the trek because of any reason.
- By Air: The nearest airport to Yamunotri Dham is the Jolly Grant Airport, located at a distance of almost 210 kilometers. The airport operates daily flights to Delhi. From the airport, taxis and buses are available till Hanuman Chatti. From there, it’s a trek of almost 13 kilometers to the temple.
- By Rail: Rishikesh Railway Station and Dehradun Railway Stations are the nearest railway stations to Yamunotri Temple. Rishikesh Railway Station is located almost 200 kilometers on NH 58, while Dehradun Railway Station is located almost 175 kilometers away. Trains run to all the major parts of India from both of these railway stations. From both of these railway stations, you can hire taxis to reach Hanuman Chatti. Taxis and buses are also available from other parts of Uttarakhand like Uttarkashi and Tehri Garhwal.
- By Road: There are no direct motorable roads to Yamunotri Dham. The last point of the motorable road is Hanuman Chatti, from where you have to take a trek of almost 13 kilometers. Hanuman Chatti is well connected by motorable roads to all the major places in Uttarakhand. Taxis to Hanuman Chatti are also available from Dehradun, Tehri, Uttarkashi, Barkot and Rishikesh.
- By Helicopter: Helicopter services to Yamunotri Temple are also available. Helicopter services are provided by both the Uttarakhand government as well as by private helicopter operators.
Weather in Yamunotri Dham
As Yamunotri Dham is located at an altitude of almost 10,803 feet, it remains cold throughout the year. The summer season in Yamunotri starts in April and lasts till July, with the temperature ranging between 6°C to 20°C.
The monsoon season in Yamunotri Temple starts from mid-July and lasts till September. Landslides and floods occur during this season; however, it can be safely visited.
The winter season in Yamunotri Dham begins in October and extends till March. The temperature falls as low as -7°C. Heavy snowfall and extreme weather conditions make the temple inaccessible.
Best Places to Visit in and around Yamunotri Dham
The main attraction at Yamunotri Dham is the Yamunotri Temple. However, there are other attractions surrounding it that make for some wonderful sightseeing and have a spiritual significance as well.
- Yamunotri Temple: The main attraction is the Yamunotri Temple. Dedicated to Goddess Yamuna, who is the presiding deity, it is surrounded by Bandarpoonch, a mountain massif in the Garhwal Himalayas.
- Janki Chatti: Janki Chatti lies midway during the trek to Yamunotri Dham, or about 7 kilometers before it. It can be reached by vehicles. It is famous for its thermal springs.
- Surya Kund: Surya Kund is one of the many thermal springs that are located in Yamunotri Dham. Its waters have a perfect temperature, and devotees tie potatoes and cook rice in it by immersing it under water. After it has been cooked, it is distributed as prasad among the people.
- Divya Shila: Dibya Shila is a rock pillar which is worshipped by devotees just before entering the sacred Yamunotri Temple.
Explore Popular Chardham Yatra Tour Packages 2024
|Package Name||Duration||Starting Price|
|Chardham Yatra from Haridwar||8 Nights 9 Days||INR 19999|
|Kedarnath-Badrinath Tour from Haridwar||4 Nights 5 Days||INR 11999|
|Kedarmath Yatra Tour from Haridwar||3 Nights 4 Days||INR 7999|
|Badrinath Yatra Package from Haridwar||4 Nights 5 Days||INR 7999|
|Gangotri Yamunotri Tour||4 Nights 5 Days||INR 10000|
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